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January 26th, 2011 | By Alicia Silverstone


Since umeboshi plums are one of the pricier superhero foods, I wanted to share some useful tips with you about how to eat them and make them last awhile. The most important thing to know is that they are medicinal, so a little goes a long way!

How Do You Eat Them?
First of all, one package of umeboshi plums should last for a long time. The cool thing about them is that you never use the whole plum at one time. You only want to use it for medicinal purposes, so about a quarter or a half of a plum at a time is fine. You can add it to tea, as in my Hangover Tea, or sprinkle a diced up piece of plum on hot cereal, or you can just eat it by itself. You can also suck on the pit when you’re not feeling well, and forgive the salty-sour taste. Just remember that it’s healing you!
Are There Any Substitutions?
Some people have asked if you can replace the umeboshi plum with ume vinegar and tamari- the answer, unfortunately, is no. Ume vinegar is for cooking purposes only. It’s not medicinal; it’s salty and concentrated and yummy, but not medicinal. If you’re trying to get the medicinal benefit, you have to use the plum. Tamari is also for cooking purposes only. That said, there’s nothing wrong with using tamari and ume vinegar for flavor. You can use tamari to replace shoyu, too. But it’s not medicinal, it’s just for taste!
What about ume paste? That doesn’t count either! It’s good, but it’s not the same as the plum. It’s not bad for you in any shape or form – ume paste would be better than nothing. It’s just too concentrated, so you get too much salt, and it’s not medicinal. Of all things ume, the only thing that will give you the real medicinal value is the actual plum.
How Often Do You Buy Them?
I order plums very rarely. I don’t have them everyday. Rather, I eat a small piece of plum a few times a week. You don’t need to have them everyday unless you are eating really crazy bad things. For example, you would never want to have the hangover tea consistently, every single day for a year. You just want to use umeboshi plums medicinally, in very small amounts. So, next time you are looking at the umeboshi plums in the store and they seem really expensive, remember how long they last! I order mine in bulk from Goldmine Natural Foods, then keep them in the fridge.
Have you experimented with umeboshi plums yet?

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